Same gripe. Different day.
I really don't mind so much how you raise your beef, feed your pig, tend your garden or MAKE YOUR SOAP, please just be honest. (and humane!) If you believe your product is good enough to sell, you should be proud of the feed, lodging, ingredients that are involved.
What I really hate is when someone insinuates or outright lies about what their product ingredients. I recently visited a small farm sort of like ours, a couple hours away, where they give demonstrations about life in times past. I enjoyed the horse drawn plow event and the blackberry pie made in a wood oven (yummy) but I was deeply disappointed when I spoke with the woman making soap "Like the pioneers did"
I always wanted to try making soap with real wood ash lye over a wood stove, just for a better understanding of the history of soap if no other reason. But we arrived just after the soap making demo, still the pioneer dressed woman, explained it all to me when I asked a few questions.
She told me her soap is made with lye crystals instead of real wood ash ash , which I understood knowing the amount of time it would take to create your own ash lye from a hard wood fire, but then she admitted she doesn't even make soap indoors because it stinks so bad.
I love the way my house smells when I make soap even unscented soap. When I asked about the oils she used she leaned in close to me and said "I use leftover Crisco from a restaurant"
No wonder her kitchen smells bad. Plain new Crisco is bad enough, I tried it once in the early days as I was doing my own research on making soap, but can you imagine using Crisco that had already been used to fry steaks, saute onions, fry potatoes etc...Yuck
I asked why she did not use lard as the pioneers did, and her answer? Lard was too hard to find and too expensive. Now, she sells these rock hard, bad smelling soap bars in big 6 oz chunks for just $1.00. So why does she not just up her price while upping the quality of her base oils?
I did not want to embarrass her in front of some other farm visitors and because it's likely she volunteers her time for this farm event, I felt a letter to the organization she works for might be a better choice. Some of you might wonder why so worked up about a piece of soap so I'll tell you.
Poorly made handmade soap, even if done by volunteers at a small community event who are selling it very cheap, reflects on all handmade soap. Folks who buy this soap will automatically associate lye soap with bad soap. They will likely pass by the next handmade soap vendor thy see at the farmers market or outdoor craft fair convinced that soap made with lye is harsh, barely lathers and smells bad.
In addition, making and selling this kind of soap can be dangerous. Not knowing the exact oil makeup of Crisco (the oil blends are not consistent, sometimes it has lots of coconut oil, other times more Palm oil) makes it impossible to calculate an accurate lye to oil ratio. Not to mention the other "additives" like French Fry pieces or burned up hunks of deep fried Cod.
|My own lye soap made with Olive Oil, water and nothing else|
Too little lye just makes mushy soap but too much lye or Lye heavy soap can leave lye that has not been able to bind to the oil molecules and thus could cause burns to the user. So, who else has run into situations about this and what have you done about it? Would love to know.